Tropical Storms Rene and Paulette predicted to strengthen over Central Atlantic

Sept. 9 (UPI) — Tropical Storm Rene maintained its strength, and Tropical Storm Paulette diminished in strength Wednesday as the two storms moved through the Central Atlantic on Wednesday evening. Both storms were expected to increase in intensity by Friday.

As of 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center reported that Rene continued to move northwest at 13 mph away from the Cabo Verde Islands, about 590 miles away. Winds were reported at 40 mph but gusts were expected to increase over the next 48 hours to “near hurricane strength” by Friday night, the agency said.

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Paulette, which is currently about 1,000 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands, was predicted to weaken temporarily in the next few days but then restrengthen next week, the National Hurricane Center said. Paulette recorded maximum strength winds of 60 mph and was moving about 10 mph west-northwest.

“Swells generated by Paulette are expected to reach portions of the Leeward Islands Thursday night and Friday and will continue to spread westward to portions of the Greater Antilles, Bahamas, and Bermuda into the weekend,” the agency said. The swells are likely to cause “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the report added.

In addition, a small low-pressure system about 240 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., could strengthen as it moves eastward over North Carolina Thursday afternoon, the agency said.

Another low-pressure system east of Florida is causing thunderstorms a couple of hundred miles northeast of the Central Bahamas. That storm will drift westward until it hits the tip of the Florida peninsula on Friday and heads toward the Gulf of Mexico, the agency said.

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